In Search of Ho Shou Wu
He Shou Wu Ho Shoe Wa Ho SHOE WOO HEY SHAW WO Hei SHO WOO Hu Shwa Wa HEI SHOE WOO hey shoe wo....
OK, a story from my past I am sure I have posted before but not for quite some time - details do become blurry after so many years but this is one of the funniest things....
After riding on a bus for several hours, we had finally reached it! The largest herbal/TCM open-market in China! Acres and acres of at least 5 varieties of every 5,000+ herbal/animal/mineral substance used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. OMG! I had never seen anything like it! WOW Oh WOW!
After an hour or so of just walking around and checking it out I decided to fill my list. So here I went. First two items CHECK! GOT IT!
A little more difficult getting my next few items but it went fairly smoothly.
And then, due to my expert Mandarin pronunciation (those Chinese don't really know how to pronounce this stuff) I had one of the funniest things happen. I wanted He Shou Wu!
So I started going around looking but due to the immensity of the market I was having no luck. Then I made the mistake and asked. Holy mispronunciation batman! %$#@*&(*$##&^
NO ONE understood what I was asking for. So a couple of doctors decided to help me out so we went in search of...
Naturally, we started drawing a crowd. I finally got the idea I wasn't saying it correctly. So I tried some variations - Ho SHoe Woo? HO SHO WA? h sho wa? HE Sho Woo HE' shoe WOOO' - with tonal emphasis variation all over the place.
This just drew a larger crowd. Who was this tall long nose who had beard of an old man but mannerisms of a young man? And who couldn't speak Mandarin worth a dang?
Pretty soon we had 25 doctors and pharmacists following me around and away we went, looking from stall to stall with everyone trying to help!
Then there were 50 or more, making a dragons tail through the market!
I honestly don't remember or even know exactly how many were walking around with me, trying their best to be helpful, but it was one big show.
Finally, I came to a booth - and there it was, the mysterious He Shu Wu! I picked a piece up and said THIS! THIS is what I was looking for! And a large sigh and exclamation went through the crowd. OH! He Shou Wu! Then everyone began clapping and smiling and shaking their heads - huh, He Shou Wu. Who would have thought it!
But that is what I said to start with, wasn't it? He Shou Wu